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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
There's a message about friendship hiding here (the lead characters are willing to do anything for a terminally ill friend), but it's overshadowed by plenty of iffy stuff. On the up side, a real, sincere relationship blossoms between two of the leads -- in contrast to less meaningful dalliances and attractions -- but women are also fairly marginalized characters overall.
Positive Role Models
Charcters partipcate in a break-in (it's well-intentioned, but...), and there's lots of bathroom humor.
Violence & Scariness
Comedic scuffling and flailing, mostly ineffectual and inept. Some mock-martial arts action and weapons violence (quarterstaff combat, science-fiction replica weapons), all for comedic effect. A man is hurled from a van; a van drives toward people on foot.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Nude buttocks, both male and female, are shown as passersby are "mooned"; other implied nudity. Sexual situations (kissing, etc) -- both in the context of a relationship and with young women who turn out to be escorts. A young man meets face-to-face with his "cyber girlfriend," only to discoverthat she's approximately 10 years old ("I'm a pedophile," he shrieks). Many digressions about sex, sex acts, sexual conduct, and sexual prowess. A gay bar is depicted as a den of iniquity. A joke revolves around male homosexual prostitution.
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Lots of strong language, including "f--k," "bitches," "fag" (as an insult), "s--t," "Jesus Murphy" (as an exclamation), "cornhole," "man package," "penis," "dickhead," "a--hole," "pimp-slap," "whores," "dips--t," and much, much more. "The finger" is given.
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Products & Purchases
The entire film revolves around a group's quest to see Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace prior to its release; the movie is a constant series of references to the fantasy-world myths and real-world genesis of the Star Wars saga. Other brands mentioned or shown include Star Trek; iPhone; Palm Pilot; The Rocketeer; Top Gun; Paramount/Viacom; Lucasfilm; Six Days, Seven Nights; Raiders of the Lost Ark; Batman; Priceline; and many more.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink beer and hard liquor to excess; scenes take place in bars. Characters smoke cigars and cigarettes and are given Peyote-laced guacamole; a terminally ill character is given a large amount of Peyote. Prescription drugs are administered by a physician.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Star Wars-centered comedy really pushes the limits for PG-13, with lots of swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t"), drinking, smoking, and sexual content (particularly discussions of sex and sex acts, though naked butts are also shown). That said, under all the rude and crude comedy is a message about friendship and believing in something. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Featuring plenty of in jokes and cameos (Billy Dee Williams and Carrie Fisher both appear), FANBOYS is, like the behavior it chronicles, a triumph of passion over judgment. The idea of anyone being excited by the prospect of seeing Phantom Meance now kind of seems like a joke, and director Kyle Newman has minimal interest in asking his actors to actually shape a scene or portray an authentic character (that Marquette and Huntington are believable as separated old friends says more about their charm and skill than it does about the script).
Fanboys has a certain amount of kindness under the surface, but that surface is studded with bathroom humor, unfunny gags, cruel caricatures, and a boys' club attitude that makes women irrelevant (with the exception of Kristen Bell's just-one-of-the-dudes nerdy-hottie, who gets to realize her crush on one of the four -- which is in itself a weird, sexist form of wish fulfillment). Newman seems to be inspired by the pop culture zing and crude zest of Kevin Smith; hard as it is to imagine, Newman could take lessons from the smarts and heart Smith has hidden under the swearing and name-checking in his best scripts.
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Our Editors Recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate